Sunday, January 08, 2012

Judicial candidates invited to provide statements

Although a number of candidate challenges are still pending, most of the Cook County judicial candidates have begun to turn their attention to actual campaigning – asking voters for votes.

Getting one’s message out to voters in a county as large as this one is a herculean challenge. Candidates are seeking endorsements, filling out questionnaires, and showing up at any event that will have them. Judicial candidates spend a lot of time seeing... each other. I’d like to give every Cook County judicial candidate the opportunity to get his or her message directly to potential voters.

I will print any statement that any judicial candidate cares to make right here on For What It’s Worth. This is the third election cycle in which I’ve extended this invitation. In 2008, more than two dozen candidates took me up on the invitation. In 2010, only a few candidates did. I’m happy either way.

Candidates need only send me an email (there’s a link in the sidebar of this blog) with their essay.

Candidates: You can send me a statement of personal philosophy, the stump speech you’ve always wanted to make, the pitch you’d like to make at every voter’s front door, or whatever else you think appropriate. I’m not going to tell anyone what to say or how. (I would guess, however, that it might be more persuasive to explain why you are the best choice, keeping in mind, as my mother used to say, that you don’t make your own candle shine brighter by trying to blow out someone else’s.)

If I don’t already have your picture, send me a head shot. I’ll run that with the post. I will not edit candidate statements. I’ll print what you send. (That’s why I need an email, to verify what was sent, and by whom.) To see what other candidate statements have looked like, click on the “In Their Own Words” tag at the bottom of this post. I will only put up one statement per candidate.

I know some candidates have statements of the types solicited here on their own campaign websites. If a candidate asks me to run a substantially similar statement here, or even the same statement, I will do so. I will not pull statements from candidate sites on my own, however. If a candidate wants me to put their statement here, the candidate has to send me the statement.

I know writing such an essay won’t necessarily be an easy task: As lawyers, we’re used to advocating for a client -- for someone else. It’s not as easy to talk about ourselves. But this will be an opportunity for candidates to define themselves, rather than be defined by questionnaire responses.

I do not intend to impose any limit on the statement’s length; presumably no serious candidate would compose anything overwhelmingly long. For illustration purposes, my word processor assures me that this post is 486 words long.

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